Nothing slows the game like speed,
The old catcher intoned on TV.
With Henderson, Brock or Wills on Base
Cat and mouse sets the pace.

A frown creases the pitcher’s tanned face,
He breathes deep, kicks the mound, the hunted, not the hound.
With Gordon, Hamilton or Trout on first,
Spikes flash, fans roar, for this they thirst.
The catcher pounds his mitt, raises mask, spits.
Middle infielders kick dirt, reset hat, tug shirts.
Ready to catch the sliding, winning run.

The runner edges off the bag,
Darts back to avoid the tag.
Visiting manager, touches nose, pulls ear, slaps his knee.
Will the batter bunt or swing? The pitcher fires.
To first. Nothing slows the game like speed.

That’s Coleman, Morgan or Raines on first,
Not Robinson, Cobb or Frisch. The adage is,
Runners run, catchers throw, fielders field, it’s always so.
That the fastest wins is also true, but this you knew.
With Lopes, or Roberts or Rollins on base,
The game slows it’s pace.
Their legs win fame and games and cheat defeat.

On the field, timeless beauty retold, a story never old.
The pitcher pitches. The runner runs. Here’s the fun.
Over in a heartbeat, memories sweet, smiles or scowls
And no regrets, a challenge has been met.

Spikes gleam. Dust flies. Ball in glove, tag applied.
Is he safe? Or is he out? The Ump’s call stands, it’s the law.
Nothing slows the game like speed, the old announcer said on TV.
And so it is, and will always be,
This child’s game that speaks deep to me and thee.